Monday, February 1, 2016

The Dark Side of Nature

I have debated about whether to tell about this event that I witnessed just a few days ago in our front yard, and have decided the story was worthy of being told.  It is not the beautiful side of nature that I usually love to show here, but I think that the story does need to be told, because it caused me to consider just how blessed we are.

Daily we have anywhere from 20-40 turkeys that come to visit us and to eat what the birds have dropped from the bird feeder.



 As I was watching the turkeys out in the yard, I noticed two turkeys down towards the end of my driveway moving together in what appeared to be a heart shaped pattern - it looked like their beaks were joined together in a heart shaped way, which was rather strange to me.  Then, as I continued watching, I realized that this had nothing to do with love but more to do with something quite ugly! They were intent on killing each other!  I watched as one bird would take the beak of the other and twist it quickly, throwing the other bird down on the ground, and while that bird struggled to get up, it was being harshly pecked on the neck until it would finally get up, and then the birds would lock beaks and begin the duel again.

My first thought was that this was a simple fight over food (turkeys fight all day long over food), but soon I realized that this had nothing to do with food, because usually one turkey will run away and hide, and the other will go back to pecking at the food.

That was not happening.  They were pecking each other's throats and twisting each other's necks in an attempt to kill the other.  Neither one was giving in, and they were in it to win, at the expense of the other's life.

I couldn't stand it any longer.  I know that nature has its order, but I just couldn't stand there and watch these two turkeys kill each other.   I had no time to grab my camera, not that I wanted to take a picture of this gruesome event anyway.  I ran down the driveway and yelled at them.  They looked at me - stunned - got up, and skedaddled down the driveway and across the street.   I stood there watching them, hoping they would separate and forget about fighting.  But again, in the middle of the street they went at it again, and this time I was close enough to hear the sounds they were making.  It was awful.

So I chased them again, and they took off through the bushes and ended up back behind my chicken coop.  I walked back to the house, and watched them, and sure enough, they went at it again behind the chicken coop.  I chased them again and this time, one of the turkeys could barely stand.  I gently walked over to check on it, but as soon as I got closer, it got up and was able to walk.

By this time all the turkeys had grouped together, and were heading into the woods, and I decided I couldn't chase them anymore and try to break up their fight.  I hoped the other turkeys joining them would be a distraction for them.

I do not know what happened to those two turkeys, but after breaking up their fight three times, I resigned myself to the fact that one of them probably died in the woods.  We have found dead turkeys in our forest for no reason, without apparent injury.  If they had been killed by a wild animal, all that would have been left is feathers.  So now, I think we know the sad ending of that story.

The whole episode left me quite shook up, because I had never personally encountered two wild animals determined to kill one another.  I'm just thankful they didn't die there in front of me.

As I reflected on this incident, I realized just how far our lives are separated from the reality of nature, where life is raw, wild, and untamed.  We live in warm houses, have clothing to wear, food to eat, and water to drink.  These are things we take for granted... but these animals do not have those things. Every moment of their lives is fraught with danger, and they are constantly seeking the basics of food, water and shelter, and safety from predators.  And then the issues that come up between them of dominance, and mating, that also factors in how they live.

I was thankful to retreat into my warm cozy home, pour myself a cup of hot tea, and reflect on just how blessed I am that I don't live with fear like the wild animals who come to visit us here.  And I'm so thankful for the advancements that humanity has made so that we are blessed to live quiet peaceful lives with so many rich blessings, and we don't have to be exposed to the rawness of nature, just to survive.

26 comments:

  1. I feel for you. Years ago I went to find God in nature and I too was horrified at what I found. I have come to the belief that sin is behind this. The animals and birds carry that curse. I don't know why we are so blind to sin but I do know that the more I work on my relationship with God the easier it is too see sin and run the other direction- to Him. I think we can look forward to heaven where the natural world won't bear this horrible burden anymore. Hugs. Ronda

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    1. I agree with you completely, that the sadness found all over this creation is because of sin. It made me think about all the cruelty that goes on in the world as I watched this event too, knowing that so many in the world don't even have the basics of life that I can take for granted. We have much to be thankful for now, and much to look forward to in heaven too! :)

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  2. Nature is cruel at times...to both animals and humans. It is hard to watch in any circumstance, I agree and after I witness it, I too am thankful for what I have, well aware of what could be...

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    1. It is at times like this that I wonder about our ancestors, and early pioneers to this country, and all they had to face. We are so blessed to have all the conveniences of life aren't we... and I don't want to take them for granted!

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  3. It sure can be cruel at times. I see geese fight and injure each other all the time on the lake. My kids get so upset.

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    1. Yes, nature in its wildest form is untamed, cruel, and hard to understand!

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  4. My, this sounds just awful! I can't imagine how awful it must have been for you to have to stand there and witness such a horrible scene. I can't stand anything like that either...I get so upset and shaken up when we are watching planet earth, and I see an animal chasing another to kill it. I know it is all part of the food chain, but my, that is just so awful to watch. I, too, am thankful we are human and civilized and so abundantly blessed! Thank you for sharing this story and for all you do. :) God bless you abundantly, sweet friend!

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    1. No, I don't care to see animals killing each other either! Indeed it is all part of the food chain, but still... ! It did make me so very thankful that we don't have to live every moment with that kind of fear, even though I know that there are people all over the world who are not that fortunate, and my heart hurts for them! Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, your visits are always so appreciated! Praying for you today!

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  5. Dearest Marilyn~~I thought it was time to come for a visit and see your loveliness, but oh my! What a sad and dreadful post you have shared, not to mention having witnessed the whole episode. Sigh...I would have to wonder if they were two males, they are known for doing that.
    We too have quite a group of wild turkeys that I feed hen scratch to daily.They are quite calm with me as I talk with them and try to make their sounds, though I am careful about their behavior as they can turn on you.
    My husband was attacked by a male turkey and then that turkey stalked him through the garage window. My husband was a little fearful to come out of the garage while the turkey was there. The male turkeys can be incredibly viscous.
    That turkey went on to attack my husband's van. I guess he felt threatened by my husband??
    Today we had quite a snow storm and our turkeys flew in under the tree where I feed, oh it was quite a sight! They are not very graceful. :-)
    One actually put his landing gear down to soon and ended up sliding on his bottom on the top of our garage roof, it was hilarious! :-)
    They do make me laugh and bring joy to my day.

    This was so nice to visit with you.
    I have been thinking of sending you an e mail, just haven't got there. Ha!

    Much love~~ Debbie

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    1. My goodness, you certainly have quite a story to tell! My husband has warned me about the tom turkeys as well. We have not had a problem *yet* with any of them bothering us, but I was going to ask you what time of year this happened? I wonder if it was in the spring mating season? Just curious. I had to laugh at your hilarious story of the turkey landing on your roof! We have had a few chuckles of how they land and take off as well, it is amazing how they can fly, as heavy as they are! And indeed, sometimes the landings are rather rough and abrupt. Many times I worry that their constant landing and taking off in our trees may cause us to loose branches, or even the tree, but so far that hasn't happened.

      Thank you dear Debbie for sharing your story, and I will be extra careful from now on. I am sure it was two tom turkeys fighting, but they were young, yearlings. When the big toms show up, I do try to stay away from them. I just think of my Mr. Rudy, and think how much more mean a tom turkey could be than a rooster. Oh my!

      I hope you are enjoying your blogging break, and soaking up all the goodness of the Lord that you can! We miss you though :) Much love to you today, and again, so happy to see you sharing here today! :)

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    2. Hi Marilyn, Yes, it was during the spring time that my husband was attacked by the turkey.
      They can be quite beautiful when their all fluffed out prancing around in all their glory.
      God's beautiful creation.
      Bless you, my friend.

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  6. Dear Marilyn...what a story, to be sure! One cannot believe how utterly cruel nature can be...we have been watching many BBC Earth dvds of late (ignoring the evolution packed into it, that is!) And my! It is quite shocking to see how ruthless the animal kingdom is... Such an interesting but terrible event...those poor turkeys!
    I am sending you so much love today, dear Marilyn! Thinking of you..

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    1. It is so true, nature in its raw untamed wild form is quite cruel and unforgiving indeed! I was thankful that our lives don't have to be like that, although I know so many people in this world suffer in terrible ways, and that hurts my heart to think of it. It gives me much reason to be grateful and thankful, and to look for opportunities to help those whose lives aren't as blessed as mine.

      I appreciate your visit as always dear Kelly-Anne, and hope you are enjoying your little blogging break! You are always missed, and I dearly look forward to every post you make! May the Lord bless you today :)

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  7. I'm glad you posted this, Marilyn. It is a real reminder of just how blessed we are!

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    1. We are blessed. This event certainly reminded me of that!

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  8. After living in the mountains of Colorado for 3 years -- just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park -- and witnessing the bull elks fighting during rut, sometimes in my backyard, I've come to realize that nature will have its way and it's best to just accept that and let it go. It's hard. Very hard to watch at times, but to interfere is to stop the natural course of nature. This was drilled into my head for three years, as the National Park Service is very strict about hands off. No feeding of the animals, etc. Period. I do sympathize with your feelings and you're right. . .we are very blessed as humans. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Oh my goodness, Nancy, how terrible to watch that in your backyard! Thank you for sharing that story. You do know what it feels like to be shocked to your core by the fierce nature of the wild animals who visit our homes. I know that nature has to run its course, and it is hard to see it happen.

      I do know that some people who live about an hour from us found two dead bull elk completely tangled and entwined, both of them fighting until the end, on their property. That would be something horrible to find on your property!

      Thank you again for sharing your story, and I agree, nature is wild at heart, and best left that way, and it does make me very thankful for the blessings that we enjoy as humans with shelter, clothing and food available to us.

      Hoping you had a blessed and beautiful day today :)

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  9. Wow, what a scene to witness. Many years ago we were staying in a family cottage and always watched for wildlife on and around the pond. One day we saw what turned out to be two bull moose fighting, their antlers locked together. One seemed to be trying to drown the other. We ended up calling Fish & Game and if I remember right they ended up having to euthanize both of them in the end. They did leave the "survivor" alone for a few days to see if he would recover, but he had nerve damage and could not stand.

    You're right, we are blessed as humans. But I have been thinking a lot lately about those in other countries who are not as blessed as we are ... who are living in jungles or mountains or refugee camps, hunted down, terrorized. Oh, how they need our prayers, for often they *are* exposed to the rawness and severity of nature, as they seek to survive. Ronda mentioned above that she believes sin is behind this cruelty we see in nature, and I agree. It's also behind man's cruelty to one another. This incident is surely an important reminder to all of us as to how very blessed we are.

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    1. Oh how horrible that would be to watch! Thank you for sharing that story, as it does let me know that experiencing these things is not unusual, but it is rather terrible to see, and yet a reminder for all of us of just how blessed we are! In comparison to the rest of the world who do not even have the simple blessings we enjoy such as food, shelter and peace, oh my, it does give you much room for thought indeed! I do believe what Ronda said as well, that sin is to blame for all this cruelty that happens in our world.

      Thank you for taking the time to share this story here, and I appreciate your visit very much. :)

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  10. That was quite a story. We have a lot of wild turkeys around here too, in NW Wisconsin. They come out of our woods onto the alfalfa field and wander around. As soon as I drag out my camera and sneak back outdoors, they run, then fly, back to the woods. I guess they have amazing eyesight. We ARE blessed to live the comfortable lives we have, but unfortunately, that's not true of many, many people around the world. It's easy for me to forget that as I sit in my warm house in a snowstorm, eating a nutritious lunch and enjoying a cozy fire in the wood stove while working on my laptop.

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    1. We are very blessed indeed to have the basics provided for us, and as others have mentioned in the comments, much of this world do not even have the basics that we take for granted. The whole incident has given me much to think about for sure!

      Thank you for your visit, it is much appreciated! :)

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  11. Hello,
    Wow, what a sight. It reminded me of a time two chickens did that to each other in the chicken coop. It was awful. Once the chicken struck blood on the one, the others started to pick at it. I was crying and screaming for my dad. He came, but it was to late for that chicken.
    Sending a HUG!
    Carla

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    1. Oh my goodness, I can indeed relate to that too. I had the hens almost peck one of our baby chicks to death last year, and really I did think it had died, but thank goodness, I was able to nurse it back to life! I thought they had pecked its eye out, but even its eye survived. Oh my. There is a side to nature that we can't understand, for sure. All of this has certainly given me great food for thought, most importantly, to be thankful for our many blessings! Thank you for the hug... and one is back on its way to you :) Appreciate your visits, as always!

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  12. Hi Marilyn, I just hate it when animals are cruel to one another, but it is much like our society is acting these days isn't it?
    Thanks so much for your recent visit to my changes in the master bath, and for letting me know you stopped by. Glad you enjoyed it!
    Gina

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    1. It was a terrible thing to experience, but I'm thankful for the time I spent counting my blessings, and realizing just how blessed we really are. I enjoyed my visit very much to your happy space, and look forward to getting to know you better. :)

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  13. Hi Marilyn, I just hate it when animals are cruel to one another, but it is much like our society is acting these days isn't it?
    Thanks so much for your recent visit to my changes in the master bath, and for letting me know you stopped by. Glad you enjoyed it!
    Gina

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